The new school year means new changes for students and this also means changes to school lunch. Thanks to the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids act, schools are now required to serve a wide-variety of colorful vegetables each week and students must now be offered a fresh, frozen, dried, or canned (in juice) fruit for lunch. Additionally, in order for a lunch meal to be reimbursable, each tray will need to include at least ½ cup of fruits and/or vegetables. The new standards require that at least half of all grains served in school lunch must now be whole grain rich (starting in 2014 all grain products must be whole grain rich). And under new USDA guidance, schools must offer two varieties of milk: unflavored milk can be non-fat or 1%, while flavored milk must be non-fat. A few other changes include calorie ranges for three grade groupings (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12) and minimum and maximum servings per week for both grains and meat/meat alternates (cheese, beans, etc.) for each of the grade groupings.
These are the first major changes to school meals in 15 years and these change will help us raise a healthier generation of children.
Not sure if you qualify for free or reduced lunch? Please visit www.applyforlunch.com to apply. Or Stop by your local school to fill out an application.